Yes, Hillary Clinton is a systemically flawed candidate. But no, Bernie Sanders is not weakening her further, despite sweeping a series of contests over Easter weekend. In fact, Sanders’ faux insurgency is actually a tremendous benefit to Hillary, and this primary couldn’t be working out better for her.
Allow me to explain.
…. there are two things aiding and abetting Hillary’s hopes of surviving 2016 long enough to taking the presidential oath of the office come January.
1. Bernie’s faux insurgency helps Hillary on multiple levels.
In boxing, Bernie is what they call a “tomato can.” He’s an opponent put up to keep the public interested, keep the champion in shape, give arenas an excuse to keep selling tickets, but one who has no chance whatsoever of actually winning. Like any good tomato can, Sanders is producing the necessary drama before hitting the canvas, lest the pubic feel as if it didn’t get its money’s worth with a first round KO.
2. Donald Trump’s trashy campaign is driving up his negatives to unrecoverable territory while deepening the fault lines within the GOP.
Trump now has the highest overall unfavorable rating of any domestic politician in modern polling history. And here’s his unfavorables with key demographics in the latest Wall Street Journal poll:
- – Women: 70 percent
- – Millennials: 72 percent
- – Blacks: 83 percent
- – Hispanics: 77 percent
- – Suburbanites: 68 percent
And keep in mind these are Trump’s unfavorables after months of the best media coverage a GOP candidate for national office could hope for. Imagine what they may be come fall, once the media now elevating him predictably turns on him if he were to be the GOP nominee?
Now if Trump is not the nominee, which I believe is the most likely outcome, the damage done by his trashy candidacy will still be felt. In its aftermath, Ted Cruz or anyone else that emerges post-convention will have their work cut out for them healing the divisions Trump deepened. For the ideological fault lines in this party preexisted Trump’s current con, but his knack for making it personal and contemptible at every turn certainly exacerbated them.
This is not all meant to say Hillary is unbeatable. Quite the contrary, much of the country doesn’t want to vote for her, and many of those who will are more resigned to it than excited about the prospect. However, if the Republican Party persists in ignoring the revolt on its hands, and doesn’t coalesce in time to defeat Trump’s white trash reality television show, Hillary will survive an election she could never win.
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